Peter FitzSimons on Fatties

Peter FitzSimons has a great column in the SMH about how he managed to lose weight and improve his health…all without taxes.

Oi! You. Fatty Boomka.

Yes, you. Don’t look around, at others. I am talking to you, bloke.

And don’t be offended at being called “Fatty Boomka”, see, because I used to be you. You and I were the Boomka twins, and I could more than hold my own against you on the other end of the see-saw.

Until, finally, after a good 30 years of being on the endless yo-yo weight plan ? very fat … pretty fat … not-so-fat-but-still-a-whole-lot-to-love … pretty-fat … very bloody fat ? I’ve worked the whole thing out. I’m establishing the “yo diet”. I’ve worked out how to go down and stay down.

So do you want to hear the answer, or not? Bloke to bloke, no bullshit, no touchy-feely crap, no “miracle diets” nonsense, no Jenny Craig, no self-mutilation by taking out half your tummy, or putting in staples.

No doubt some wowser in Australia will be getting upset at being called a Fatty Boomka.

Several things happened to me that changed me forever.

First up, my wife told me straight out: “Pete, you’re too heavy.”

At least I think it was her and I think that’s what she said. At the very least, there was a certain muffled voice, just like hers, coming from somewhere way beneath me, and it said something a lot like that.

I checked, and she was right. From my weight of 114 kilograms playing Test rugby ? I know, I know, I’ll have to tell you about it some time ? I had gone up to just over 150 kilograms, and was now living the cliche of the former fit footballer turned to fat. Sure, I had gone up and down many times as I got serious about my weight, but this was a post-war high. Lisa had a point.

That should motivate every bloke…so how did he lose weight?

I read a book, David Gillespie’s Sweet Poison. There’s a bit of mumbo-jumbo in there, but the premise is very simple: sugar is killing us all. The more processed a food or drink product is, the more sugar they whack into it, simply so they can sell more. And the problem is not just the calories those sugary food and drinks add, but how hungry it makes you for everything else, how, after the first Tim-Tam, you’re immediately hungry for a second and third, not to mention ? after that delightful afternoon snack ? a much bigger dinner. If you only take one thing from this rant, take this, from Gillespie. The average Australian and American consumes 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, adding up to 1.2 kilograms of sugar a week, which translates into 60 freaking kilos a year! This is all the more shocking when you realise the natural intake of our ancestors ? the amount our body actually needs ? was 1.3 teaspoons a day, about two kilograms a year.

So this is the first thing you need to get through your fat melon, Boomka: Stop the sugar, stop the hunger. Bingo! I grasped that simple fact, and the rest started to come good.

Stop the processed food and drink, and you stop feeling so damn hungry all the time. Try it. It is a revelation. I haven’t had a soft-drink or processed fruit juice since reading Gillespie, and that was a big leap forward.

It’s that simple…and no need for taxes.

So, to wrap it up. As you go into this new year, if you are dinkum about losing weight, sobering up and all the rest, what you have to do is this:

You have to rely not on your will power, because that is hopeless. Sooner or later ? by which I mean two days, max, Boomka ? you will fall back into your old ways. No, you need work with parameters, you set yourself.

See, you know how ? now you’ve given up smoking ? you don’t even think about having a cigarette any more? Well, you need to do the same with soft-drink, biscuits, grog and ? for me ? the huge slabs of red meat I used to plough through, but now no longer do. You don’t need to do the tedious calculations every meal time about how many calories are on the plate, because who bloody well wants to live like that?

Instead, try this for a simpler calculation: don’t put your left blinker on when you see golden arches, lose 6kg; stop drinking entirely, lose 10kg; stop biscuits, lose another 5kg; stop soft-drinks and go down 6kg in a year! Etc, etc, etc.

The reason you turned into a Fatty Boomka, is because, like me, you have a certain obsessive streak. All you need to do is steer the obsession towards a different, better goal.

The best thing of all. You can bore your friends rigid, with how much better everything is! And not just your friends. Everyone.

So, to wrap it up. As you go into this new year, if you are dinkum about losing weight, sobering up and all the rest, what you have to do is this: Face the truth – the elephant in the room, is YOU.

Oi! You. Fatty Boomka.

Yes, you, I am talking to you …

Cut out processed foods, eat good solid real food, drop the sugar and voila no more fatty.

One of the reasons I hunt and provide our own meat is that it is only barely processed, as in skinning and dressing, that and the exercise of course. It is also so satisfying knowing that what you killed has been put to good use.